HOME BUYING PROCESS
On the surface, buying a home may seem like a relatively straightforward process. However there are dozens of variables in any transaction that can make home-buying quite complex.
Choosing an Agent — Choosing an advisor to guide you through a transaction as important as buying a home is serious business. So homebuyers should give just as much consideration to hiring a buyer’s representative as sellers give to hiring a listing agent. Experience in your preferred neighborhood and/or style of home is important, but so is the comfort level between agent and client, because buying a home is a highly personal experience. Ultimately, you only work with one agent, so it should be someone you like, trust and respect and who feels the same way about you.
Assessing your Financial Situation — For starters, use an online mortgage calculator to get a sense of your buying power and monthly mortgage payments. As a general rule, most experts say that your housing expenses should not exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income, but a variety of factors – from your credit score to other debt – can open this ratio up to a pretty wide range. Remember that there are other costs involved in buying a home, such as moving, decorating and remodeling expenses. You should also consult with your accountant or financial advisor to talk about how real estate affects your financial goals. Knowing where you will come out of the transaction will give you a lot more confidence going in.
Getting Pre-Approved — In today’s home-buying environment, a mortgage pre-approval is not only essential; it is also incredibly easy to obtain – whether online, over the phone or in-person. A mortgage pre-approval lets you know exactly what you can afford to buy. It also demonstrates to a seller that you are a willing and able buyer. And it gives you a head start in getting an actual loan commitment. Learn more about pre-approvals by visiting with one of our preferred lenders online or in person.
Creating a Wish List — Almost every home purchase involves some degree of compromise, which is why it is important to prioritize your wants and needs before you begin your search. There are many variables to think about depending on your prioritize your wants and needs before you begin your search. There are many variables to think about depending on your lifestyle, budget and future plans, but some universal considerations include: location, features, amenties, age of home, pool?, hoa.
FINDING YOUR HOME
Once you have obtained a mortgage pre-approval and selected a real estate agent, you are ready to begin your home search in earnest. Today, approximately 80 percent of home searches begin on the Internet, and if you’re searching for a home in Charlotte, there’s only one web address you need to know: www.soldondanielle.com My web site includes tools, tips and access to all of the Charlotte properties listed in the MLS. Best of all, you’re in control. Sign up for me to manage and customize your search, receive e-mail updates on new listings as they become available, conduct several searches at once and save and compare properties.
Review Listings — Using the guidelines you set forth, Danielle will present you with available listings. In addition to price and property attributes, pay close attention to data like property taxes, market time and monthly assessments for condos and town homes.
View Properties — Danielle Edwards will schedule showings and accompany you on each appointment. When you walk through a home, some things to consider are: how the space functions for your lifestyle; what’s included in the total square footage (balcony, basement or garage); and, in new construction, which features are standard and which are upgrades. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the average buyer will view 15 homes before buying one. But that is just an average. Some buyers will purchase the very first home they see. Others will look at more homes.
Open Houses — Remember, if you are attending Open Houses without your agent, be sure to mention that you are being represented by a Realtor, Danielle Edwards. This will save you from being bombarded with calls from other agents trying to represent you. We will supply you with some business cards to make the Open House sign-in process even easier.
Compare Properties — Discuss each home you see with your agent, and provide candid feedback. Your expectations and the marketplace will begin to converge, and your agent will be able to adjust certain parameters such as location and features in order to present you with alternatives.
Use Danielle Edwards Property Comparison Sheet to track and compare each listing. When you find a home and are ready to make an offer, your agent will perform a Comparative Market Analysis or CMA.
(email Danielle for your comparison sheet)
It’s Time to Make an Offer – What happens when you make an offer to buy a home.
Put yourself in the seller’s shoes and imagine how they may react to everything you’re about to put in your offer. Oral promises are not legally enforceable when it comes to sale of real estate. Please be sure you have communicated everything you want in the offer to your agent.
Have your realtor do a comparative market analysis for you. It will show you the fair market value of the property. The following factors could affect price.
- Condition of home
- New home improvements
- Market conditions
- Seller’s motivation
- Seller concessions
- Do you want them to pay closing costs? Expect to pay a little more
Key Parts of the NC Real Estate Contract
Due diligence period– Negotiated time frame and $ amount. For example $400 for 30 days to do your inspections, get your loan “approved”, and property appraised. You can back out of the home for ANY reason or NO reason by 5pm on the day due diligence ends. This check is made out to the seller and delivered within 3 days of accepted contract. *
Earnest Money — Earnest money is a deposit, given by the buyer to the seller, which secures the contract until the closing. Earnest money is typically held in an escrow account until the closing, when it may be applied to the down payment and/or closing costs. If the sale does not go through due to contingencies covered within the contract, then the earnest money may be returned to the buyer. However, if a buyer is in breach of contract, then a seller may be entitled to keep all or a portion of the earnest money. This amount shows the seller how serious you are. Normally, 1% of sale price is a good starting point. This money is deposited day one of accepted offer. It goes “solid” at 5:01pm of the day of due diligence ends. If you back out of your home for ANY reason during due diligence, then your earnest money will be refunded within 3 day business days.*
*You get both the due diligence & earnest money back at closing as a credit towards closing costs/purchase price.
You will probably need a mortgage. Even if you are preapproved the lender will still need time to get the appraisal done, order title, etc. Your agent can advise you on how much time to allow for.
Don’t skip this. It’s money well spent in the long run. If the home has major issues, you’ll want to know before buying it, not when you’re stuck with it after closing.
Make sure you receive all proper seller disclosures. Federal law requires the seller to disclose all material defects that they are aware of.
It doesn’t have to be a ‘hot’ market for a seller to have the luxury of choosing between multiple offers. If you find yourself in a multiple offer situation, don’t panic and don’t withdraw your offer –you could be the highest bidder. Go through at least one round of negotiations before you decide to withdraw. Have a price in mind of where you want to go and stay in the game until the price is reached. Many buyers lose the property by pulling out too soon.
Closing Date — One of the most important terms of a real estate contract is the closing date – the date when ownership changes hands. This is usually, but not always, the date that the seller must vacate and the buyer may occupy the property. Flexibility on the closing date can give a buyer a big advantage over other potential buyers. Occasionally, it can also allow you to negotiate a lower price or other, more favorable terms.
From Offer to Closing
Once your offer has been presented to the seller the negotiating process begins. There are liable to be numerous counter-offers going back and forth between you and the seller. There are a few important things to remember :Your offer is just that-an offer-until it has been accepted and agreed to by both you and the seller. At any time during the negotiating process another offer could come in and cause you to be in a multiple offer
lose the house completely. A wise buyer will try to come to an agreement with the seller in a reasonably short period of time. Many contracts have stipulations on when the buyer must make his mortgage application. Please be sure to check your contract and abide by its requirements.
1)Get all documents to your lender ASAP. Be sure to comply with all requests of your lender after the mortgage application has been done. Not producing the documents or information they need can jeopardize your getting your mortgage on time.
2) Schedule home inspection. Your agent will handle this. Decide if you want radon, termite, separate AC, or structural inspections done.
Generally, the buyer accompanies the home inspector at the inspection. Please allow at least 2 to 3 hours for an average inspection. More time may be necessary for a large home. Your agent will act as coordinator for all activities from this point and will keep everyone in the loop as far as what is going on. The lender, home inspector, both attorneys, the other REALTOR, the title company (or escrow agent) will all be performing necessary duties during this time. If necessary your agent will work together to negotiate any repairs that were noted during the home inspection. Remember, routine maintenance items are not the type of thing that should be noted and negotiated.
3) Walk thru-Your walk thru will be scheduled as per your sales contract. Your agent will schedule this with you, the seller and the listing agent. It should happen just prior to the closing. If all of this sounds a little overwhelming–don’t worry –you’re in good hands. Your agent has been through this many times and will be there for you during the entire process. Relax and enjoy the experience.
4)Utilities- have set to turn on for the day of closing.
5)Show me the money- All funds will need to be wired the day before closing.